Interesting animation by Max and Dave Fleischer in which the audience was to sing along with lyrics on the screen.
March 18, 2006
historical interest but little else
no sound! and no animation really. one just for those interested in the beginnings of Fleischer me thinks.
Here We Go
February 13, 2006
Great Quality, Missing Sound
This cartoon from 1926 is one of the "Song Car-Tunes" that the Fleischer Studios produced with sound, long before Disney tried his hand (their first sound carton premiered in 1924). Each of the "Song Car-Tunes" would begin with stock footage of Koko the Clown (the Flesicher's big star at the time) drawing his Koko Quartet band, who would then come to life. Koko and the band would then march into a theater, and Koko would hold a card with a title and description of the bouncing-ball song to follow. From thereon, the cartoons would be original, but mostly made up of lyrics and a bouncing ball on the screen; the audience was supposed to sing along. Usually, the bouncing ball would be replaced by some animated character during the course of the song--in "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp" we are treated to a criminal bouncing along with the lyrics.
Either the sound doesn't work on this file or the uploader uploaded a silent print of this film, which is unfortunate; I would have given it 5 stars if it had sound. No matter, the print is practically flawless, which is remarkable, considering its age.
While entertaining, the Flesicher "Song Car-Tunes" are repetetive, and with very little animation, it isn't any wonder why they didn't make as lasting impression as Walt Disney's first sound cartoons. (Incidentally, Paul Terry also beat Disney to the punch at sound cartoons, while working for Amadee Van Beuren's animation studio in 1928. However, Paul Terry's sound cartoons from the late 1920s through the 1930s are almost uniformly bland, unfunny, and often terrible. Hence, Disney became the superstar with a mischeivous Mickey Mouse in "Steamboat Willie".)
This review is getting way too long, but it is worth noting that the Fleischer Studio was one of the most innovative, and perhaps the most consistent studio of their day. They were also the only former silent studio to survive the transition to sound and last the 1930s. (Both the Van Beuren Studio and Winkler Studio made the transition as well, but had closed before 1940.) They were also the only studio to truly have hit characters in both the silent and sound era (Koko in the silents, and Betty Boop and Popeye in the sounds.) For anyone interested in the history of animation, this cartoon is a must-see.
December 5, 2005
Early Sound Cartoon starring Koko
Fleischer Studios' Koko the clown, star of many short cartoons, leads a band into the theatre for a sing-along in "Tramp Tramp Tramp", a very early "sound synchronized" cartoon.
This cartoon contains very little character animation, however, as most of the time the screen is filled with the lyrics, accented by the bouncing ball for proto-karaoke sing-along.
The song "Tramp Tramp Tramp," about a prisoner of war awaiting rescue by his fellow troops, was written about the American Civil War.
Note: I had trouble with the audio on both the streaming and downloaded versions of this short.